The USMNT gets another tune-up tonight before beginning their qualifying campaign for the 2014 World Cup.
After dismantling Scotland 5-1 in Jacksonville on Saturday, Jurgen Klinsmann’s men welcome the hosts of that next tournament, Brazil, to FedEx Field in Landover, MD.
While it was nice to see the USA romp over an opponent for once, this game should give us a better barometer of where the squad is at.
Qualifying for WC 2014 should be no issue (though finishing on top of CONCACAF is a real priority) so it is these matchups against the teams that you might encounter in the finals, hopefully in the knockout rounds, that should really excite fans of the USMNT.
You can catch the game on ESPN2, Telefutura if you prefer lengthier goal exclamations, or online at ESPN3.
Whichever your viewing pleasure, join me back here before kickoff at 8:00 PM ET.
Full lineups (when available) and my ever witty, insightful commentary after the jump!
Brazil: Some Brazilian guys with one name.
Updated: Rafael Cabral; Danilo, Thiago Silva, Juan, Marcelo; Sandro, Romulo, Oscar; Neymar, Hulk, Damiao
Subs: Pato, Lucas, Rafael, Jefferson, Bruno Uvini, Casimiro, Wellington Nem, Guiliano, Neto, Alex Sandro.
USA: Some American/Mexican/German guys with two names.
Updated: Howard; Cherundolo, Onyewu, Bocanegra, Johnson; Bradley, Jones, Edu; Donovan, Gomez, Torres
Subs: Parkhurst, Dempsey, Beckerman, Castillo, Boyd, Goodson, Rimando
Not in uniform: Corona, Cameron, Altidore, Guzan, Wondolowski
Thankfully nowhere near the stadium: Robbie Findley, The girl who sang the anthem in Jacksonville.
Pregame: Pregame is worse than usual. My fiancee is watching Giuliana and Bill.
Pregame: Currently lubricating with Samuel Adams “Old Fezziwig Ale”. It tastes as good as it sounds. Pretty sure it’s a holiday beer. UPDATE: Confirmed.
Pregame: TACTICS! I’ll be interested to see what kind of shape these lineups actually take.
Pregame: “Brazil is a good team” – ESPN Commentary
Pregame: America needs better cameramen for soccer too. Show the babes man!
Pregame: Would love to see Jurgen dive out of the tunnel once.
Pregame: Someone keep tally of the Americans you see in Brazil shirts.
Pregame: Star Spangled Banner. Serviceable. Much better.
Pregame: Looks like a straightforward 4-3-3 from OOSAH!
Pregame: Brazil counter with the same. Fullbacks key for them as always, will be a tough night for Johnson and Cherundolo.
1st Minute: Good ball over the top, cross opportunity wasted for USA.
4th Minute: Neymar tracks back? No concrete chances early on.
6th Minute: Gomez fails to corral a good ball from Bradley.
7th Minute: Safe hands from Howard. OM correct that Johnson’s going to have his hands full it appears.
10th Minute: Edu wasn’t ready for that pass from Donovan.
11th Minute: Penalty for Brazil! Tough call, right by the letter of the law I guess? Controversial.
12th Minute: GOAL! Neymar flys down a mighty long runway and buries it. Good penalty. 0-1 Brazil.
13th Minute: Torres booked. Presumably for dissent. USA needs to settle down here.
15th Minute: Crowd needs to get back in it. You’re going to get score on when you’re playing Brazil.
Free kick to OOSAH! Dangerous area for Donovan or Gomez
15th: Right down the pipe. Well held by GK Rafael.
18th Minute: Great one on one save by TIMMAY! on Damaio!
19th Minute: Brazil have a decent full court press. Used to good effect on Denmark Saturday.
20th Minute: Oscar booked for grouchiness.
21st Minute: Game opening up a bit, Brazil’s pace worrying the US backline.
24th Minute: Guy just checked his smartphone while chanting USA. Hero.
24th: Donovan’s chip from a free kick gives Bocanegra a chance he should do better with.
25th Minute: Onyewu lucky! Hulk lets him off the hook by passing up the shot 6 yards from goal.
26th Minute: GOAL! Neymar’s corner powered in by a totally unmarked Thiago Silva. The Milan man way too good in the air to have that much space. 0-2 Brazil.
29th Minute: USA corner, well punched by Rafael.
30th Minute: Donovan with a decent effort from a Gooch knockdown. USA has to put a few more on frame in this half.
31st Minute: OM cursed Sandro! He is currently bleeding from the face.
33rd Minute: Good movement from Johnson, but Donovan can’t handle the through ball.
36th Minute: Can you tell this is a younger Brazil? They are hungry and actually seem to be working hard.
38th Minute: Cherundolo clears after a long run from Damiao. Bocanegra not having his finest game, his giveaway led to the break.
39th Minute: Another clearance from a Marcelo cross and corner for Brazil, comes to nothing. Brazil barely letting USA out of their half though.
42nd Minute: Brazil with all the possession now. Bradley helping the backline clean up a mess or two.
44th Minute: Taylor Twellman’s analysis on how to improve on the 1st half? Forget about the first half.
45th Minute: GOAL! USA! 1-2. Gomez finishes a great move from Bradley and Fabian Johnson!
Well well well, great stuff before going in for the break.
Halftime: Klinsmann would surely take this scoreline heading into the half. USA bossed a bit but kept it together. Enough to make Gomez’s late strike add a bit more intrigue to the 2nd anyway.
I continue to like the work of Bradley, a player I cared little for before, and TIMMAY! came up big on one occasion to keep it close.
46th Minute: We’re back! No subs yet. Sandro’s face seems to have stopped bleeding.
47th Minute: Chances snuffed out for Donovan at one end then Hulk at the other.
48th Minute: Hulk tries the cannon from like 45 yards out. Well over.
50th Minute: USMNT finding more space down the right hand side early on.
Marcelo being Marcelo, should be carded for a bit of extras.
52nd Minute: And then that man again. GOAL! Brazil with a quick counter. Hulk to Neymar to Marcelo who finishes confidently. 1-3.
55th Minute: Torres free kick quickly turned into Brazil counter. Johnson chases down Hulk and clears.
56th Minute: The Deuce is loose! Torres replaced by the Fulham striker. We’ve got the pair we’ve wanted to see out there now. Time to produce something.
57th Minute: Jones yellow card, certainly deserved. Just takes out Neymar from behind.
60th Minute: Marcelo finally carded for blasting a ball into a falling Dolo after the whistle.
63rd Minute: US still looking for another killer ball. Jones doesn’t have it.
64th Minute: CHANCE! How does that stay out?? Johnson with a nifty move, crosses to Gomez who looked to set up Dempsey 2 yards out, foiled only by Romulo, mythical founder of Rome.
Unlucky for USA.
66th Minute: Pato hits the post! Another fine set of passes from Brazil sees Neymar through, he sets up the duck, just on and only able to smack the upright.
Lucky for USA.
70th Minute: Brazil getting a little cheeky now. Another US goal can still give us a tight finish.
71st Minute: Deflection of Donovan’s shot could have gone anywhere. Corner to USA.
73rd: USA SUBS: Parkhurst for Cherundolo. Boyd for Edu.
75th Minute: Hulk powers into the US boxx, only to overrun the ball, much quieter than he was Saturday, though still with a hand in the Brazil scoring.
And Oscar stings Timmay’s palms.
76th Minute: USA Chance! Great double save from young GK Rafael thwarts Gomez and then more impressivley recovers to stone Boyd!
80th Minute: 4th corner for the US, getting some decent pressure late on here.
81st Minute: Neymar takes on Parkhurst. I hope I never have to type that again.
Beckerman on for the US.
82nd Minute: Brazil Sub: Hulk replaced by Casimiro.
83rd Minute: Donovan really looking for Deuce, Brazil clear and US waste the ensuing corner.
84th: Neymar also takes his exit.
85th Minute: Chance! Donovan whips in a cross, Bradley get a powerful header on it but again Rafael tips it skyward! What a debut!
And then the bar rattles from a Gooch header! Great work from the USMNT.
87th Minute: Deuce can’t get enough on yet another US corner. Rafael holds comfortably.
88th Minute: GOAL! PATO! 1-4 Brazil. Magic from the just onside Duck. Great tight angle finish. Need to see more of that for Milan next season!
90th Minute: More young Brazilians pour off the bench. Thankfully one removes Marcelo.
93rd Minute: And Brazil kill off the game with more possession.
FULL TIME: 1-4 Brazil
Well, an entertaining match and a game, if not particularly good USA effort. Scoreline only harsh in that they could have had 1 or 2 more themselves. Then again, Brazil could have as well.
Good experience for some of the younger and less capped players. And nice to see a preview of Deuce and Donovan on the field together.
Thanks for joining me everyone!